Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries announces 50 arts and cultural organisations as hosts for 2020-2022

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Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries announces 50 arts and cultural organisations as hosts for 2020-2022
50 new jobs created in 50 theatres, museums, galleries, arts centres, music venues and arts organisations. Image Outroslide Photography.

LONDON.- Jerwood Arts announced the 50 organisations across the UK who will host Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Fellows to provide talented individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds opportunities for a career in the arts and cultural sector. The hosts applied prior to the Covid pandemic, and all remain fully committed. The programme will now provide the added benefit of supporting a sector hit hard by lockdown measures.

Each of the 50 host organisations taking part have created significant new roles at the heart of their work, with the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme funding up to 90% of salaries plus a dedicated career development programme for the Fellow, support for their progression beyond the programme, and individual mentors supported in partnership with Arts Emergency. Fellows will all be undertaking an artistic/creative role such as curating art exhibitions or delivering music education in a composer role, to overarching roles helping manage and give creative support across multiple artistic and cultural projects. WJCB will also provide an organisational development programme run by people make it work to embed inclusive practices for each host organisation with three senior members of each host organisation’s team taking part, including a board member and senior executive.

Even before the pandemic wreaked havoc on career prospects in the arts, those from middle-class backgrounds were 2.5 times more likely to end up in creative occupations than their working-class peers. This is a situation which has not improved since records began in 2014. Social mobility is a greater issue in the cultural sector and wider creative industries than across the economy as a whole. The wider creative industries have created over 300,000 jobs over the past five years, yet the number of creative workers from working-class backgrounds has increased by just 33,000. Just as with the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, it is expected that those who are already finding it difficult to make their way in the arts will be the worst hit by the impact of Covid-19 and so these Creative Bursaries come at a more important time than ever.

This is the fourth edition of the programme, which has been running for over 10 years and has 125 alumni, many of whom have forged successful careers. This edition of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries (WJCB) is the largest yet, with support from Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Programme, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, and PRS Foundation.

Lilli Geissendorfer, director of Jerwood Arts, comments, “I am delighted to launch this reimagined edition of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries and to be doing so at a time when the arts and cultural sector is in such urgent need of support. We hope these bursaries make a real difference and it is heartening to see socio-economic diversity and inclusion remain such important drivers for our partners during these challenging times. This programme will help discover and nurture the potential of talented individuals as well as contribute to changing organisational practices for good. All this will assist the arts and cultural sector in coming out of this pandemic healthier, stronger, more balanced and inclusive.”

Just a few roles which open today for application include:

An Assistant Curator role at the Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth. This will involve joining at an extremely exciting time as Aspex develop and then deliver a new programme of exhibitions and events to mark their 40th anniversary in 2021, using their archive to inspire and inform new commissions by emerging artists. The fellow will work closely with the Curator/Programme Manager to present artist commissions for the 40th anniversary project, while also supporting key aspects of the Aspex ongoing exhibition and learning programmes including The Platform Graduate Award, Emergency biennial exhibition, offsite presentations and artist support programme.

A Music/Sound Creator role at Clod Ensemble in London. In this role the fellow will support delivery across a music education and artist development programme, and support the Director, Composer and other creative collaborators to develop new performances. There will be opportunities for in-house micro-commissions as well as mentoring and network building with Composer Paul Clark, who has worked in live performance, film, advertising and studio recording.

An Associate Director at Common Wealth and National Theatre Wales in Cardiff supporting the creation, development and delivery of four theatre productions staged in non-theatre buildings. The Associate Director will also develop their own creative project with support and work as part of Common Wealth & National Theatre Wales to develop experience and skills in directing, producing and artistic leadership. The Associate Director will support the Directors and Lead Artists of productions to realise the vision for the work whilst gaining crucial insights into the process of creating a large scale production in a site-located context, with important links to local communities.

A Creative Producer role at Ffotogallery in Cardiff, who will be an equal within the creative programming team, contributing to artistic decision-making, and also involved in all aspects of planning and delivering exhibitions, events and accompanying engagement activities, printed material and digital content. The Fellow be given the opportunity to devise and lead an exhibition, project or event at Ffotogallery in Summer 2021. The Creative Producer will be a key member of the creative team planning and delivering the fifth edition of Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography in Autumn 2021.

A Dance Artist/Choreographer at the Work Room and Tramway in Glasgow. In the role the fellow will initiate and develop their own creative projects and work as part of The Work Room and Tramway teams to develop their experience and skills in dance management, producing and programming.

Of the 50 host organisations participating 19 are now open for applications with the majority of the remaining 31 set to begin recruitment by early next year.

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